Happy Pride Sunday!
Friday the 26th marked the 5th anniversary of the Obergefell vs. Hodges decision that made marriage equality a reality in the US.
This anniversary is a bright spot in a difficult time.
Another bright spot: I found my new favorite book tag.
Elli @ AceReader tagged me in it, for which I am VERY GRATEFUL. (Thank you, Elli!)
The tag was created by Virginia @ The Sassy Library Fox.
As is my troth now, I selected several books for each prompt.
Yes, they’re books I’ve blogged about before.
I have so many favorites, it’s hard not to talk about them all.
What a way to celebrate Pride!
Before we begin:
Black Lives Matter protests are STILL happening.
Demand justice for the following Black people killed by police:
- Breonna Taylor (The officers who killed her STILL haven’t been arrested. Contact the Louisville mayor here.)
- Elijah McClain (Though the Colorado governor opened a new investigation into Elijah’s death, all officers involved have been cleared of wrongdoing. Keep pushing.)
- Tony McDade (Black Trans Lives Matter. Send letters through the Action Network here.)
To those protesting: Mask up. Use the buddy system. Make plans on the Signal app. Please stay safe.
- Thank whoever tagged you and link to their blog post.
- Link to the original creator: The Sassy Library Fox! And please credit The Sassy Library Fox if you use (copy & paste) the artwork/ graphics.
- Match books with the given prompts.
- Tag as many people as you like!
- Post the rules and the list of prompts in your tag post.
A book with a lesbian heroine
The titular Gideon the Ninth is a snappy, foul-mouthed, sworld-wielding lesbian orphan nun from a death cult.
Reread that sentence and tell me you don’t want to read the book.
Ash and Huntress, two of Malinda Lo’s earlier books, have lesbian protagonists.
Ash recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, making it a perfect Pride read.
A book with an adorable gay character
You Know Me Well has Mark, a straight-passing, baseball-loving gay boy in love with his terrible best friend.
Mark has so many feelings and such a big heart.
The end of the novel hints at a new love for him.
I hope he finds it.
Boys & Girls
A book with bi rep done right
My two favorite examples of bi rep took place in Technically, You Started It and Girl Made of Stars.
Bisexuality made sense to Mara once she realized she could like both boys and girls in different ways and for different reasons.
Once I read that, I felt a lot more secure in my own identity.
It took me a year to pick up on Martin’s description of his bisexuality. Martin says he feels an attraction (i.e., “spark”) with girls right away, whereas with boys his attraction is more of a “dimmer switch.”
HEY, MARTIN. SAME HERE.
The Body & The Soul
A book with a transgender character
ARE YOU TIRED OF ME TALKING ABOUT FELIX EVER AFTER OR THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA YET?
IT CAN’T BE HELPED. THEY ARE GREAT BOOKS.
Felix Love is a trans boy who transitioned in his early teens. He later identifies as a demiboy, defined as:
Someone who identifies as part male, part something else.
[Note: that “something else” can refer to any number of genders.]
Though Flora/Florian’s gender identity isn’t explicitly labelled in The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea, I interpreted them as genderfluid.
By the end of the story, Flora identifies as male, female, and both/neither. She switches between pronouns and identities, all of which feel right to him.
Ana Mardoll wrote an anthology of trans fantasy stories called No Man of Woman Born.
I put in an order while tipsy and the book is on its way!
We’re All Queer
A queer rep you’d love to see more often in books
I would love to see more demigender and genderfluid rep like the examples I listed above.
Felix Ever After was the first trans book I read to explore the the non-binary trans experience in that way.
For genderfluid characters, I would like to see more characters like Flora/Florian who move between pronouns and identities without it causing an issue in the plot. A particularly good example of this occurred with Paulie from When We Were Magic. Paulie had “masc” and “femme” days, appearing in clothes that corresponded with how she felt each day. I thought her character was very well-handled.
I want more bisexual protagonists, just because the range of bisexual experiences is very wide. I’d love to see authors dive into the gap that sometimes occurs between sexual and romantic attraction; I’d also like to see a bisexual character with a strong gender preference who ends up with someone unlikely (e.g., a homoromantic bisexual woman ending up with a man.)
All About Pronouns
A book with a non-binary character
An upcoming release I’m VERY excited for is Under Shifting Stars, a YA contemporary about twins dealing with their brother’s death.
(One of the twins has a crush on a non-binary classmate and may be genderfluid herself.)
I also recently discovered this non-binary SFF anthology that I’m excited to check out.
Behind the Sun, Above the Moon was published this year and spans almost a dozen genres.
Say yes to queer SFF!
A Romantic Ace
A character that belongs on the ace/aro spectrum
I bought Summer Bird Blue specifically for its ace/aro rep.
(Have I read this book? NOPE! I plan to do so this summer!)
All Out: The No-Longer Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages featured a delightful story about an ace girl living in the 1970s called “And They Don’t Kiss at the End.”
In fact, reading said story led me to text my ace friend, “Hey, someone wrote a story about you.” (After hearing some of the plot details, she fully agreed.)
I have nothing but love for this anthology and I can’t wait to read the follow-up.
Finally, in unexpected ace/aro rep, Katherine Deveraux from Dread Nation is an ace/aro Alpha Bitch, baybee!!
Probably not what you were looking for in a HISTORICAL ZOMBIE NOVEL SET DURING THE RECONSTRUCTION.
(This book also has a bi protagonist. It’s awesome.)
One Big Family
A book that features lots of LGBTQ+ reps
I thought Red, White, & Royal Blue pulled this off successfully: the protagonist and his ex-girlfriend are bi, the love interest is gay, one of the bodyguards is trans and another is pansexual.
The casual queerness found amidst the coming-out narrative warmed my heart.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me also had a lot of queer characters. Most (if not all) of Frankie’s friends are queer in some capacity.
I love this book a LOT. Please make time for it this Pride season.
Your favorite f/f couple
[A note: I follow/am followed by numerous European and Canadian bloggers. Every time I pull a tag from their site, I stubbornly take the letter “u” out of favorite. I’m talking every single time. AMERICA!]
Everything Leads to You has a beautiful, epic sapphic romance between two girls who need to process their personal baggage before they can fall in love.
I reread this book whenever I’m feeling low. It’s cinematic and gorgeous. Pick it up.
Though it might be weird to mention a real-life couple, Molly Knox Ostertag and Noelle Stevenson’s relationship is a big part of The Fire Never Goes Out.
These two bake bread together, raise animals together, and support each other creatively.
I want what they have.
Your m/m OTP
The romance in Felix Ever After is really cute, kthxbye.
I can’t promise I’ll stop talking about this book.
In underrated m/m ships, I really liked the relationship between Lord Ballister Blackheart and Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin in Nimona.
I’m pretty sure these two get a second-chance love story at the end! (If you haven’t read this book yet, go do it. You gotta. You GOTTA.)
Your favorite LGBTQ+ side character
Lindsey from Tonight the Streets are Ours is my favorite spacey gay friend who proves herself loyal at the end. I think Lindsey is underappreciated.
Hypnos from The Gilded Wolves is a precious Affably Evil Anti-villain who just wants to make friends. I need him to have a POV chapter in The Silvered Serpents.
In Dumplin’, drag queen Lee Wei fills the fairy godmother role for Willowdean and her friends, helping them train for the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet pageant. Lee somehow makes a living as an Asian drag queen in Texas, so PROPS TO HER.
Stealing the Show
An LGBTQ+ side character couple that rocks your socks
I can’t continue without mentioning the superwives Netossa and Spinnerella from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
It’s rare to see happily-married couples (especially queer ones) in any medium. Though Nettossa and Spinerella have issues, they never stop loving each other.
In season 5, Nettossa tells Spinerella, “You are my weakness.” Cut to me sobbing.
I should also mention Lance and George, Bow’s dorky dads.
They make mistakes yet still try hard to support Bow. Their appearance in the season 2 finale made me WEEP.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me has an m/m side romance that had me really worried.
I was invested in the relationship and wanted to know that the boys made it out okay. I think they did, but I don’t know for sure! FOLLOW-UP NOVEL, PLEASE!
In All Out, the anthology I previously mentioned, the couple in Elliot Wake’s “Every Shade of Red” completely stole the show.
I recommend reading the anthology JUST for that story.
An LGBTQ+ book that deals with religion
For Christian LGBTQ+ rep, try Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit or Autoboyography.
For Jewish LGBTQ+ rep, try You Asked for Perfect.
For Muslim LGBTQ+ rep, try The Henna Wars or The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali.
A book with an unapologetic cover
Neither of the books I chose has rainbows everywhere, yet both still count.
Take a look at Tell Me How You Really Feel and The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics.
COULD THESE BOOKS PERCHANCE BE GAY??
Your most anticipated LGBTQ+ release
DON’T MAKE ME DECIDE.
I’m looking forward to SO many books that, by golly, I’ll share them all.
We’ve got Sweet & Bitter Magic, a YA f/f enemies-to-lovers fantasy. (Cover reveal happening Tuesday 6/30!)
We’ve got The Scapegracers, a YA book about a lesbian witch in a coven of popular girls.
We’ve got Honey Girl, an upcoming contemporary with a “Waking Up in Vegas” plotline.
We’ve got A Wicked Magic. All I know is that it’s purple, queer, and magical.
We’ve got Cinderella is Dead, which has queer girls upending the patriarchy.
THERE ARE MANY MORE BOOKS I’M ANTICIPATING. THIS IS JUST A SHORT LIST.
SO MANY GOOD BOOKS! I hope you found something to read!
I hate tagging people, so CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED.
Happy Pride, y’all!